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Adopt the spirit of 'Fatality Free Friday'

The Australian Road Safety Federation has adopted a unique approach to safety that has some merit for the mining and construction industries: Fatality Free Friday. This community-based safety program encourages motorists to be mindful of road safety for one day a year. Now in its seventh year, Fatality Free Friday asks road users to make a promise that they will consciously exercise road safety and obey road rules with the aim of going one day without road fatality. For the 2014 event, which was held on May 31, over 50,000 pledges were submitted via an online form on the Fatality Free Friday website.

The Fatality Free Friday pledge

By taking the pledge you are promising that on Friday 30 May 2014 you will:

  1. Remind your family, friends and workmates to take extra care on the roads

  2. Put your lights on for safety

  3. Be mindful to drive safely and follow the road rules

  4. Not speed and will not drink and drive

  5. Take care at level crossings

  6. Slow down in the wet and drive to suit the conditions

  7. Not tailgate other drivers and you will look as far ahead as possible

  8. Wear your seatbelt

  9. Not use your mobile phone while driving

  10. Set a good example to your passengers by driving calmly and safely

  11. Take care as a pedestrian when crossing the road or street

Impressive results Seven Australian states - Tasmania, Western Australia, Northern Territory, Australian Capital Territory and South Australia - achieved zero road deaths on Fatality Free Friday, which was observed on May 31, 2014.

Why has this program been successful?

  1. Rather than simply providing a list of safe driving do's and don'ts, it aims to foster a safety mindset in the minds of Australian motorists.

  2. It enlists communities, territorial governments and the private sector to help spread the word about Fatality Free Friday

  3. The Fatality Free Friday website provides a variety of educational materials, including YouTube videos, an image gallery ,a list of events that visitors can share with their family and friends. It also contains a "what to do" page that tells individuals and families how they can participate in this safety initiative.

Applicability to mining and construction How can the mining and construction industries adapt this successful safety initiative?

  1. Make it a weekly event, not just once a year.

  2. Develop toolbox talks you can use with your equipment operators

  3. Create a pledge form that your workers can sign to show their support of Fatality Free Friday. This shouldn't be mandated; rather, treat it as a voluntary initiative.

  4. Create incentives for your equipment operators to keep each other accountable and committed to an injury- and fatality-free workplace.

  5. Hard hat stickers and other tangible signs of your commitment to workplace safety.

Cultivating a daily safety mindset Of course, you want to be committed to fatality- and injury-free workdays every day of the week. But picking a specific "focus day" helps to keep it top of mind and increases the odds that your workers will do their work with a safety-focused mindset.

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